The 11 most shocking TV twists of 2017

"What just happened?!"

Successfully executing television plot twists is harder than it seems, and in 2017, we were treated to the most innovative curveballs on some of your favorite TV shows. From The Good Place’s unexpected game-changer at the end of the first season to the devastating (and heartbreaking!) deaths on Nashville and Jane the Virgin, we’re giving major kudos to the comedies and dramas that totally blew our minds.

As we count down the final days of the year, ET highlights the 11 most jaw-dropping TV plot twists from 2017 that had us reaching for the remote and desperately pressing rewind.

The Good Place
The Twist: The humans were actually in The Bad Place all along.

The Good Place accomplished what many TV shows often fail to do: create and successfully execute a game-changing reveal so mind-blowing that it upends the fabric of the show, propelling it to another dimension creatively. That’s exactly what the season one finale twist did, when Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani and Jason discovered -- along with the unsuspecting audience -- that they weren’t actually in The Good Place. They were in The Bad Place all along. It’s a twist so perfectly achieved that none of us saw it coming and it made the current season so much more exciting. Congrats, hooligans, you pulled off the best TV twist of the year.

This Is Us
The Twist: Jack’s death is related to a house fire.

When This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman said fans would learn more about how Jack died in the season two premiere, he wasn’t lying. While the popular topic of discussion has revolved around Jack’s demise (the how, the when, the why, the what), the final moments of the Sept. 26 premiere revealed a definitive answer: the Pearson patriarch’s death had something to do with the Pearson home burning down to rubble. The scene itself was a shock to the system and Mandy Moore’s performance in that moment -- the unrelenting wails of a wife in shock -- made us all the more devastated as the answers to Jack’s death slowly come.

Jane the Virgin
The Twist:
Michael dies after collapsing from complications of a gunshot wound.

Michael’s death was teased by the narrator on Jane the Virgin from the very beginning when the show debuted in 2014, and though we were crossing our fingers that the fateful day wouldn’t arrive, it did. And it was unexpected. This one hurt the most because Michael brought out the sweetness in Jane, and they went through every possible trial and tribulation together (breakups, gunshot wounds, etc.). Just when they were finally on a path of true happiness, mortality got in the way. R.I.P. Michael, you’re still very much alive in our hearts!

Nashville
The Twist:
Rayna unexpectedly dies after a horrific car accident.

Rayna Jaymes’ death from complications following a terrible car accident midway through season five is still one of the most devastating TV moments of the year -- and an obvious callback to the season one finale misdirect, when Rayna’s fate was in question after the SUV she was driving flipped over and landed in a ditch. Rayna’s death came at the worst moment possible for the characters on Nashville. What was going to be the new normal? Let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty. With the sixth and final season fast approaching, that’s not going to change anytime soon.

Game of Thrones
The Twist: Jon Snow is the true heir to the Iron Throne and the White Walkers know how to make good use of a dragon.

Many fans saw this one coming, but it didn't make it any less shocking. The season seven finale of Game of Thrones showed Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen getting it on, while a disturbing voiceover revealed Jon’s true identity: Aegon Targaryen. Yup, that means he's the true heir to the throne and he just took things to the next level with his aunt! On top of that, the Night King proved he knew exactly what he was doing when he killed Viserion, using Dany's dead dragon to destroy the wall. If only we didn't have to wait until 2019 to find out how it ends!

Empire
The Twist:
Lucious’ leg is amputated and, surprise, he has amnesia!

Are we that surprised? Empire really leaned into the crazy this year and one of the biggest shockers took place at the start of the fourth season. Lucious had his leg amputated following the car explosion and he was battling a serious case of amnesia after waking up from his coma. Seriously. Considering the list of ailments he’s already dealt with, this one takes the cake in our “shock-o-meter.” An honorable mention goes out to the surprising revelation that eldest Lyon son Andre’s new girlfriend was F A K E, the product of side effects of his medication. Talk about a ghoulish reveal.

Pretty Little Liars
The Twist:
Spencer has a British twin -- and she's A.D.!

Pretty Little Liars brought us some serious déjà vu drama in the series finale when we finally discovered A's identity. Turns out, A.D. was short for Alex Drake, but just how is this random character connected to our favorite Rosewood residents? (Drumroll, please!) Alex Drake was Spencer Hastings' identical twin. Jaw, meet floor. In this classic evil twin scenario, Spencer discovered that she had a deranged doppelganger running around Rosewood impersonating her and wreaking havoc on the rest of the Liars.

The Walking Dead
The Twist:
Caaaarrrrrrrrrrllllllll's about to bite the dust, thanks to a nasty walker bite.

Season eight of The Walking Dead was quite underwhelming -- until the show decided to kill off one of its original cast members. The midseason finale took viewers by surprise, deviating from the comics and revealing that Rick's son, Carl, had been bitten by a walker. It was a sad moment for fans, leading many to wonder how Carl's comic storylines will be handled in the series. We thought Carl was untouchable, but we were wrong. You got us!

Big Little Lies
The Twist: Perry is Jane's rapist! And he dies! And his son is Amabella's bully!

We knew there was a mystery to be solved the minute we started watching Big Little Lies. The first episode, titled "Somebody's Dead," should have been enough of a tip-off. Little did we know, there were three mysteries ... and they all had to do with Perry! Alexander Skarsgard played such a clear-cut villain, but we honestly didn't have the confidence in Nicole Kidman's Celeste to do what needed to be done. It only made sense that the finale would reveal Perry's death to be a group effort, with Madeline, Bonnie and Renata helping Jane and Celeste whoop Perry's butt once they discovered he was not only an abusive husband, but also raped Jane. Last but certainly not least: nothing is more satisfying than the women pushing Perry down a flight of stairs and then lying about it!

Kevin Can Wait
The Twist:
Donna’s death comes completely out of the blue.

The behind-the-scenes decision over the summer by the Kevin Can Wait producers to kill off Kevin James’ onscreen wife, Donna (Erinn Hayes), was a jaw-on-the-floor moment. (Leah Remini essentially replaced Hayes as the female lead.) So when it came time to see how the off-screen decision affected the show creatively onscreen, we weren’t quite ready for it. The comedy did its best to give Donna a heartfelt send-off, but we couldn’t help but wonder what would’ve been had Donna been spared.

Scandal
The Twist:
Quinn is (probably) dead, thanks to Olivia's feud with Papa Pope.

32 PHOTOS
Kerry Washington on 'Scandal' through the years
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Kerry Washington on 'Scandal' through the years
SCANDAL - From the creator and executive producers of 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Private Practice' comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. 'Scandal' stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Henry Ian Cusick as Stephen Finch, Columbus Short as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant and Jeff Perry as Cyrus. 'Scandal' was written by Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes and Betsy Beers are executive producers. Paul McGuigan is the director. 'Scandal' is produced by ABC Studios.(Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images)KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - From the creator and executive producers of 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Private Practice' comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. 'Scandal' stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Henry Ian Cusick as Stephen Finch, Columbus Short as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant and Jeff Perry as Cyrus. 'Scandal' was written by Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes and Betsy Beers are executive producers. Paul McGuigan is the director. 'Scandal' is produced by ABC Studios.(Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images)STANDING: GUILLERMO DIAZ, COLUMBUS SHORT, JEFF PERRY, TONY GOLDWYN, HENRY IAN CUSICK;SEATED: DARBY STANCHFIELD, KATIE LOWES, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - From the creator and executive producers of 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Private Practice' comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. 'Scandal' stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Henry Ian Cusick as Stephen Finch, Columbus Short as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant and Jeff Perry as Cyrus. 'Scandal' was written by Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes and Betsy Beers are executive producers. Paul McGuigan is the director. 'Scandal' is produced by ABC Studios.(Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images)TONY GOLDWYN, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Hell Hath No Fury' - The team reluctantly decides to help a millionaire's son accused of rape, but regardless of the facts, public perception is a hard thing to change, and this is one case that the team might not be able to win. Meanwhile, Olivia still insists on taking Amanda Tanner as a client, but is unable to put her own past with the President behind her when Amanda's first request is a meeting with the President, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, APRIL 19 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Enemy of the State' - After the Amanda Tanner case takes a shocking turn, one-time friends Olivia and Cyrus take heated, opposing viewpoints, and Cyrus tries to help in investigating the personal lives of Olivia and her associates. Meanwhile Olivia and her team help a dictator locate his wife and children who have been allegedly kidnapped, and Quinn goes out with a reporter seeking information, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, APRIL 26 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images) DARBY STANCHFIELD, GABRIEL MORALES, VALERIE CRUZ, JOS�Z�IGA, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Grant: For the People' When Quinn finds herself in a tragic and compromising position, Olivia and the team rush to her side; all the while, a reluctant Cyrus must turn to Olivia when Billy Chambers makes an announcement that shakes Fitz's presidency to its' core, on the stunning Season Finale of 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, MAY 17 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Till Death Do Us Part' - As Olivia deals with the aftermath of what she's done, she finally finds out what exactly Jake and Rowan are plotting. But with their plans already in motion, Olivia is forced to make a gut-wrenching attempt to try and stop it. Meanwhile, in flashbacks, we learn more about Jake's past and how he first got involved with B6-13, on an all-new 'Scandal,' THURSDAY APRIL 21 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Nicole Wilder/ABC via via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - Olympic Gold Medalist Allyson Felix visited with the cast of ABC's 'Scandal,' on Thursday, August 17, 2012. (Photo by Danny Feld / ABC via Getty Images) ALLYSON FELIX, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Spies Like Us' - Olivia receives an anonymous letter containing a coded warning which could expose Huck's dark past. Meanwhile another Pope & Associates secret has already been exposed and Olivia asks Harrison to step up and handle it. And in the White House, Cyrus and Fitz are dealing with the ramifications of Cyrus' husband's first front page news story, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. ((Vivian Zink ABC/ via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, DARBY STANCHFIELD
SCANDAL - 'Defiance' - Harrison leads the team in managing a billionaire businessman who seems to have lost his sanity; meanwhile, Olivia and the White House prepare to celebrate the President's 50th birthday, as James continues to investigate Cytron and discovers something that could change the fate of the country, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Vivian Zink ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL- 'Happy Birthday, Mr. President' - In the wake of a tragedy connected to the White House, Olivia returns as Press Secretary to handle a catastrophic crisis, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal ABC via Getty Images) TONY GOLDWYN, KERRY WASHINGTON, BELLAMY YOUNG
SCANDAL - 'Happy Birthday, Mr. President' - In the wake of a tragedy connected to the White House, Olivia returns as Press Secretary to handle a catastrophic crisis, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images) TONY GOLDWYN, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Nobody Likes Babies' - As David uncovers the truth about the Cytron case, things come to a head for Olivia, Cyrus, Mellie, Hollis and Verna. Backed into a corner, the five conspirators go to extremes and, in some cases, unconscionable lengths to protect themselves and/or the ones they love, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, TONY GOLDWYN
SCANDAL - 'Truth or Consequences' - After discovering the truth about the rigged White House election, the 'Gladiators in Suits' realize that a quickly unraveling Olivia may not always wear the white hat. Meanwhile, Mellie is forced to take extreme measures to try and reel Fitz in, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, JANUARY 31 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Danny Feld / ABC via Getty Images)) KERRY WASHINGTON, KATIE LOWES, COLUMBUS SHORT, GUILLERMO DIAZ, DARBY STANCHFIELD
SCANDAL - 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' -After discovering the truth behind defiance, Fitz is still struggling to figure out whom he can actually trust. Meanwhile Olivia is trying to move on with her life, and she meets a handsome stranger, Jake Weston (Scott Foley), who sparks her interest. But when Fitz and Olivia are forced to be in the same room again, real sparks fly and things get heated. Back at Pope & Associates, the team handles a new case, and for the first time they're working with David Rosen instead of against him, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ron Tom/ABC via Getty Images) DAN BUCATINSKY, JEFF PERRY, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - ABC's 'Scandal' stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images)
SCANDAL - 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' - Through flashbacks we learn more about Olivia's estranged relationship with her father. Meanwhile, both the White House and Pope & Associates are still in the middle of cleaning up the very big and very public mess they created, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY OCTOBER 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'A Door Marked Exit' - Now that the truth is out there, things will never be the same and everyone will have to face the consequences of their actions, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Danny Feld/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, TONY GOLDWYN
SCANDAL - 'No Sun on the Horizon' - A well prepared Fitz gets thrown a curve ball during the first presidential debate, Olivia receives shocking news and is forced to make an extremely difficult decision, and the gladiators work with a powerful CEO accused of murder. Meanwhile, one dirty little secret could lead to deadly consequences, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, MARCH 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, JEFF PERRY
SCANDAL - 'We Do Not Touch the First Ladies' - Old feelings and jealousies arise at a Presidential event causing Fitz to face a harsh reality. Meanwhile, Quinn tries to prove herself to B613 and Leo Bergen sets up a meeting between Sally and an old friend, on ABC's 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, MARCH 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.(Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) BELLAMY YOUNG, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Inside the Bubble' - An old friend (Sonya Walger) returns for help after her daughter goes missing, Cyrus has an awkward run in during a business breakfast, and Jake uses his connections to get some answers. Meanwhile, Mellie becomes obsessed with a national news story and David goes to great lengths to prove himself, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY OCTOBER 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, SCOTT FOLEY
SCANDAL - ''I'm Just a Bill' - With Rowan back in town, the stakes are at an all-time high for the team trying to take down B613. Meanwhile, Olivia gets a call that the mayor's wife has been murdered and is asked to take on the case. Back in the White House, Fitz needs help getting a very important bill to pass, but when he looks to the VP for support, she proves that she's not an easy pushover like everyone once thought, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, APRIL 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ron Batzdorff/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, CORNELIUS SMITH JR.
SCANDAL - ''I'm Just a Bill' - With Rowan back in town, the stakes are at an all-time high for the team trying to take down B613. Meanwhile, Olivia gets a call that the mayor's wife has been murdered and is asked to take on the case. Back in the White House, Fitz needs help getting a very important bill to pass, but when he looks to the VP for support, she proves that she's not an easy pushover like everyone once thought, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, APRIL 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ron Batzdorff/ABC via Getty Images) KATIE LOWES, KERRY WASHINGTON, GUILLERMO DIAZ
SCANDAL - 'Dog-Whistle Politics' - Eager to get answers, Jake unexpectedly crosses paths with someone he thought he'd never see again. Meanwhile, Huck and Quinn recruit a familiar face to help smooth over the media storm surrounding Olivia, and Fitz quickly finds out the true cost of mercy when he discovers not everyone fully supports his actions, on 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/John Fleenor) KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'Thwack' - The election is in full swing, which means everyone is doing their best to take down their opponents, but when a potential leak threatens several candidates, they have to work together to keep their secrets safe. Boundaries are pushed and lines are crossed as we find out just how far some people are willing to go to protect themselves, on a shocking-new 'Scandal,' THURSDAY APRIL 7 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Richard Cartwright/ABC via via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, TONY GOLDWYN
SCANDAL - 'Till Death Do Us Part' - As Olivia deals with the aftermath of what she's done, she finally finds out what exactly Jake and Rowan are plotting. But with their plans already in motion, Olivia is forced to make a gut-wrenching attempt to try and stop it. Meanwhile, in flashbacks, we learn more about Jake's past and how he first got involved with B6-13, on an all-new 'Scandal,' THURSDAY APRIL 21 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images) SCOTT FOLEY, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'That's My Girl' - As each presidential candidate gets ready to announce their running mate, Olivia finds herself in a potentially dire situation. Meanwhile, Cyrus is presented with damaging information that could alter the presidential race entirely, on the season finale of 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, MAY 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright) KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'That's My Girl' - As each presidential candidate gets ready to announce their running mate, Olivia finds herself in a potentially dire situation. Meanwhile, Cyrus is presented with damaging information that could alter the presidential race entirely, on the season finale of 'Scandal,' THURSDAY, MAY 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Byron Cohen/ABC via Getty Images) SCOTT FOLEY, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'A Traitor Among Us' - After discovering new information about the assassination of Frankie Vargas, Olivia makes a shocking decision and asks Huck to complete one of the most difficult tasks yet, on 'Scandal,' airing THURSDAY, MARCH 23 (9:01-10:00 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) GUILLERMO DIAZ, KERRY WASHINGTON
SCANDAL - 'A Stomach for Blood' - The events leading up to election night are retold from Abby's perspective, revealing a formidable thirst for power and the explosive secret she's been keeping, on 'Scandal,' airing THURSDAY, MARCH 30 (9:01-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (John Fleenor/ABC via Getty Images) BELLAMY YOUNG, KERRY WASHINGTON, DARBY STANCHFIELD
SCANDAL - 'The Decision' - With the ugly truth behind Frankie's assassination revealed, a torn Olivia wonders how different her life - and the country - would be if she, Mellie and Cyrus had never rigged Fitz's election, on 'Scandal,' airing THURSDAY, APRIL 13 (9:01-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Mitch Haaseth/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON, TONY GOLDWYN
SCANDAL- 'Dead in the Water' - It's a race against the clock when Olivia and OPA's investigation into the conspiracy puts one of their own in grave danger, on 'Scandal,' airing THURSDAY, APRIL 6 (9:01-10:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Scott Everett White/ABC via Getty Images) KERRY WASHINGTON
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Tensions in the Pope family reached an all-time high in the Scandal midseason finale, when Olivia and Eli's family feud seemingly resulted in the death of the pregnant Quinn Perkins. The episode's final moments saw Olivia's father disappear to fire off gunshots after Olivia bluffed when she said she didn't care if her friend lived or died. While we didn't see the body, we think it might be safe to call this one: Quinn's dead, and now Olivia's got some real blood on her hands, just in time for the series finale next spring.

Additional contributions by Jennifer Drysdale and Leanne Aguilera.

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